Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Riddles, Reviews, and Surprises On the Way!

For the first half of this post I wish to share with you the fruits of my green-searching - researching green products and practices (see the end of the post for the riddle). I refer to a comprehensive list of do's, don'ts, and dirty dozens (here, here, and here) before deciding to purchase a new product or implement a new household rule. Here's the short version of that list (in no particular order):
  • Organic, when possible
  • Safe (and usually pronounceable) ingredients - the shorter the list, the better
  • Checks out with the Cosmetics Database - I prefer products with a rating of 3 or below
  • Vegan (though I am not)
  • Not tested on animals
  • Minimal and/or recycled/reused packaging
  • Local, when possible
  • Sustainable, where applicable
  • Fair Trade, where applicable
  • Bulk products, when possible
  • Glass or paper over plastic packaging
  • Affordable (which of course is somewhat subjective)
Burghilicious and I recently had a conversation whereby we agreed that there exists no truly environmentally conscious beauty product. They are all inherently additives (applied directly to your face or body, nonetheless), and most are packaged in small quantities, then shipped all across the globe to reach their destination. That said, until and unless I am willing to give up even my minimal makeup and beauty regime altogether, I will continue to search for better alternatives. (In a future post: Mixing your own beauty products.)

Anyway, I've been searching forever for a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to my favorite lipstick (aptly named
Tenderheart). It took years for me to settle on my signature color, and now that I've used it for all of my adult life I am finding it next to impossible to find a color match for my preferred shade in a greener brand. I thought I'd found one when I discovered Kiss My Face brand 3wayColor. First, it earned a low score (which is good thing) on the safety hazard scale on the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Safety Database: Skin Deep. Second, it has titanium dioxide for extra sunscreen protection. Third, it is vegan and was not tested on animals (or so says the product packaging). Fourth, it contains no artificial colors. Fifth, the product is 100% biodegradable! (Though I don't believe that includes the packaging.) But here's what finally sold me on the product: it can be used as either eye color, lip color, or blush, and it smells and tastes like fruit! (In my case, I purchased one that smelled to me like mango.) I'd say the sweet scent counts as a fourth use as perfume. (Read more about the Kiss My Face company and its standards here.)

However, the downside is that the product does not appear to contain organic ingredients, and while the packaging is minimal, there's no getting around the plastic tube, and I couldn't find any evidence of the shiny paperboard having been recycled. Sad day. The company did print "Please recycle this package" on the box, but considering that this company also prints recycling suggestions on their paper-backed foil, waxed paper, and other non-recyclable containers, I can't say that I'm too impressed by the effort.

The biggest problem is that I don't much like the color I selected (Heather) - and special ordered, which is disappointing because having an extra product that I don't love means I won't use it that often and have wasted precious packaging, product, and $$$. Though I tested it on my hand prior to ordering it, the color turns out a bit too light and shimmery for my complexion and makes me look cold or undead - perfect for Halloween, I suppose, but not for the office.
Sigh. Back to the drawing board. Next in line for the role of favorite lipstick is a lip tint from Hemp Organics... I guess I've learned my lesson and will have to test the products directly on my lips for a more accurate color test - I'm just squeamish about doing that with community samplers, even where single-use-and-eco-unfriendly q-tips and tissues are provided.

In the meantime, I'm using a lip brush for every application of my tried-and-true favorite, which allows me to use up the product left in the tube once I've flattened out the tip. (I find this affords me more than 100 additional applications - I probably use it well beyond it's expiration date.)

And now for your long awaited riddle. I don't keep secrets very well, and I'm antsy with anticipation for my next post. Be on the lookout for a surprise post coming soon to a green blog near you, but in the meantime here's a hint:

What used to come only in black and white and now is green all over?

Look for the answer soon! (And more surprises to come!)

1 comment:

Crafty Green Poet said...

I've never used beauty products and I keep my toiletries to a minimum. It can be a challenge to source truly environmentally friendly options, your list is a great checklist.